Friday, April 10, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
I was tempted to tell you this first before I started my lessons but I left it until last because I didn't want to upset you. But I'm afraid now is the time I to have to tell you. Not that you probably haven't figured it out for yourself already. But when you enter the Web2;0 World of 1:1 Computing your productivity and perceived ability as a teacher will go backwards. You will not be as productive with your new tools as you where with the old tools and your confidence in your own teaching ability will have taken a bit of a knock this term but trust me it's just a phase.
This quote from Seth Godin’s book “Tribes” resonates well with me and reflects how you and your students are probably feeling right now:
The first rule the music business failed to understand is that, at least at first, the new thing is rarely as good as the old thing was. If you need the alternative to be better than the status quo from the very start, you’ll never begin. Soon enough, the new thing will be better than the old thing. But if you wait until then, it’s going to be too late. Feel free to wax nostalgic about the old thing, but don’t fool yourself into believing that it’s going to be here forever. It won’t. (93)
There is no time like the present to change and if you leave it too long it will be too late so you might as well just bite the bullet and go for it.
You're never too old to learn.
The more you know the more you realise what you don't know
You get out what you put in.
So go back over those lessons I've taught you this term. Feel free to be nostalgic about how you use to teach but except, has the music industry has had to do to survive that the landscape has changed.
Students are not like you and I. They do not hold onto files for years and years to come, just in case they may need them again. They live for the moment, complete tasks for a purpose, then seek out the next new learning experience. Consequently once they have finished a task and emailed it to you, they delete their work - well before you've seen it, checked it and given them feedback. (sounds like a good lost homework excuse to me). Sometimes they don't even check you've received it.
Which is why you need to remind them
i) not to delete work until it's been checked/revised and printed out (if they need a paper copy).
ii) to make their work public and hyperlink it or embed it into Elgg (if they are working in the web environment).
or iii) even better still, get them to work directly on Elgg (if appropriate)and save their work regularly.
I'm a great believer in completing tasks for a need and understand exactly where the students are coming from. However because I hate the fact that often the only audience for your work in an e-porrtfoli is the e-portfolio itself, I didn't put a big enough emphasis on students saving their work last year (especially a copy of their final draft/production). However, it made me realise we need to this year, because if we don't remind them the students just won't do it and it's such a shame not to have a record of their work.
So remind them quick before they delete their work at the end of the term. Next term will be too late it will already be gone.
Next - Lesson 10 - The Hardest Lesson to Learn is...
Friday, April 3, 2009
Not that I've get anything against spam filters. In fact without them I dare to say the world as we know it would crumble. Well the computer world anyway.
But really Watchdog (our email spam filter) doesn't care that your lesson is only 45 minutes long and that you and your 25 students are desperately waiting for your googledocs email confirmation to be released from its inbox, so that you can all verify your accounts and get on with the lesson.
It doesn't care that you only have an hour to confirm your account. It doesn't care that if you don't confirm it within an hour you have to go through he whole registration process again.
It doesn't care that this is the third time little Johny has tried to set up a googledocs account because he doesn't know his .school.nz from his .co.nz. It doesn't care that both you and little Johny are getting rather frustrated now because you can't understand why the email verification that was sent last night isn't working.
Which brings me to my next point. If you plan on using googledocs or any other web 2:0 application to that point, it pays to set up the application the lesson/day before. Over morning tea or lunch is a good option as it will give you time to iron out any problems you have with individual student accounts before the lesson starts.
Remember we are teaching primary school children and you won't believe the problems you can have registering for what seems like an every day run of the mill web2:0 program.
Pre warned is pre armed.
Next-Lesson 9-Students Live in the Present not the Past